The Gourmand’s Camping Stove

Few items of gear have so positively changed my life as the Jetboil. Compact, lightweight, and extremely fast to boil water, this stove/cooking system simplified, lightened, and streamlined my backcountry chefery. Menus, never my forte, have been reduced to ready to eat and ready to boil, and I’m so much happier for it. I even carry a Jetboil in the back of my rig, along with a handful of Starbucks Via instant coffees for emergency caffeine situations. Let’s just say I’m more than a fan.

So, along comes the Jetboil MiniMo, which is wider and shorter than the traditional Jetboil silhouette, and I was very curious to check it out. The MiniMo’s goal was to improve simmering capabilities, as well as making it easy to stir and eat via the “lower spoon angle.” Hallelujah, its succeeds at taking simmering from Not At All to Pretty Darn Good—doing anything in the traditional Jetboil beyond boiling water is nigh-on impossible, but with the MiniMo, you actually can turn the flame low enough to scramble up some chorizo, throw in some sauce, and whip up a dish worth eating.

The MiniMo accomplishes this by using a larger regulator and redesigned diaphragm, which results in a far less narrow shape than the original. Weights are about the same (15 ounces, give or take a few grams), as well as boil times (2:30 for 16 ounces, give or take a few seconds) and efficiency (12 liters per 100g canister). In fact, the capabilities and specs are so close, the decision hinges on two things: Does your cooking requiring more than boiling water? And do you like the shape and dimensions? If you’re a culinary pagan with a philistine palette like me, stick with the traditional Jetboil. But if your camping experience involves words like savor and flavor, the MiniMo’s your pick.

$130 • BUY

Read more from Steve Casimiro at his blog, Adventure Journal.